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A few things have happened as a result of Tiger Woods finishing in a tie for sixth at the Open at the weekend.

For one, he has climbed back into the world’s top 50. That, in turn, has earned him a spot in next week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone.

He has also become a contender for a place in captain Jim Furyk’s US Ryder Cup team.

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Woods, already a vice-captain for September’s match at Le Golf National, has jumped 11 spots in the US Ryder Cup points race after his performance at Carnoustie.

That’s still some way off the top eight positions that will earn automatic qualification for the team after next month’s US PGA Championship but, having muscled his way into the Bridgestone Invitational where he is an eight-time winner, an on-form Woods has two great opportunities to force his way into the reckoning.

Jim Furyk Ryder Cup Trophy

At the very least, he is going to be part of the discussion for one of Furyk’s four captain’s picks – something that Furyk has himself admitted.

“I’m going to handle him the way I do everyone else,” the skipper told the Associated Press. “I’ll ask my top eight guys. The way he’s playing, he might be one of them. I’ll ask the vice captains, collectively, and I think we’ll do the best we can to round out the team. We want the guys playing the best.”

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On the subject of Woods’ performance at the Open, Furyk added: “We had a lot of guys in pretty good form. Flip over to Tiger, you look at him because he’s Tiger, and he’s earned a lot of attention. I loved seeing him play well. I loved seeing him jump to 20th. It’s fun to watch. But we’ll handle him like everyone else.”

Team USA Ryder Cup points race – current standings

1. Brooks Koepka

2. Dustin Johnson

3. Patrick Reed

4. Justin Thomas

5. Bubba Watson

6. Jordan Spieth

7. Rickie Fowler

8. Webb Simpson

9. Bryson DeChambeau

10. Phil Mickelson

11. Xander Schauffele

12. Matt Kuchar


author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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